The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Cool Hall of Fame #35


We here at If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger . . . don't delude ourselves that entering John Jordan 'Buck' O'Neill in this Hall of Fame will in any way ameliorate the injustice of his exclusion from the other one this week. But in tribute to one of the still-living luminaries of the old Negro League (world-class hitter and first baseman, manager of the Kansas City Monarchs till 1955, first African-American hired to coach a Major League ballclub), it is the best we can offer.

Would that we could do more.

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